The Wire


Fatima Al Qadiri shares new music video from Shaneera

Watch the premiere of the video by Sophia Al-Maria that pays homage to belly dancing with a femme and masc dance-off

Fatima Al Qadiri has released the music video for the track “Spiral” from her 2017 EP Shaneera. Made by writer and film maker Sophia Al-Maria and featuring Zadiel Sasmaz and Eli Al Sultan performing a belly dance, the video is a riff on the track's lyrics, which were taken from the 2006 comedy Ayazon, directed by Akram Fareed. As Al Qadiri explains, “The lyrics of “Spiral” featuring Bobo Secret are taken from a now legendary scene in an Egyptian comedy film called Ayazon (2006), of a joyous eruption of several individuals belly dancing in a brothel. The lyrics translate as "I'm wearing a dancing outfit and in a house of ill-repute!" The scene quickly went viral in the Arab world and became an underground queer proclamation – one of defiance, body positivity and unbridled joy. In Sophia Al-Maria's video for the song, Zadiel Sasmaz and Eli El Sultan perform a belly dance-off of femme and masc in a sensual homage to the form.”

Shaneera was released by Hyperdub in October of this year. The title of the EP comes from an English mispronunciation of the Arabic word shanee’a (شنيعة), which, as is explained via Bandcamp, means “outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul”. The music video for “Spiral” was made by Sophia Al-Maria and produced by Boiler Room. You can watch it below.

Munich label Trikont celebrates its 50th anniversary

The independent label started life as a left wing book publisher in 1967

Touted as probably Germany's oldest independent record label, the Munich based Trikont celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a book, a CD box set and a new website homepage.

Starting out in 1967 as a radical left wing publishing company for books such as Che Guevara’s Bolivian Diary, in 1971 Trikont changed direction to become a record label with the motto “our own voice”. To date, the label has 492 releases under its belt, covering artists such as Embryo, Michael Hurley, Daniel Johnston and Accordions Go Crazy (featuring members Clive Bell and Sylvia Hallett), and releasing compilations such as the Jon Savage compiled England's Dreaming, John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft's The Pig's Big 78s: A Beginner's Guide, and Christoph Wagner's American Yodeling 1911 - 1946.

To mark the occasion the label will release the biography Die Trikont-Story: Musik, Krawall Und Andere Schöne Künste by Christof Meueler & Franz Dobler, and a 50th anniversary sampler on 3 CDs, featuring artists from the label. On top of that, they also have a new homepage.

Burning Ambulance launches podcast series with Roscoe Mitchell and more

Wire contributor Phil Freeman will be covering artists working within jazz, modern composition, metal and noise

Regular Wire contributor Phil Freeman has launched a podcast series via his Burning Ambulance website, projected to run twice a month (although Phil notes this is flexible).

So far interviewees have included saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell, who talks about the reunion of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and their upcoming 50th anniversary, his composition Nonaah, and much more. This was followed by the prolific avant garde pianist Matthew Shipp talking about his early career, political activism and Donald Trump. The third edition, with pianist and band leader Myra Melford, discussed her path to becoming a professional musician and her exploration of Indian music.

All episodes are available to stream and download over at the Burning Ambulance website.

Graham Lambkin's Kye comes to a conscious conclusion

After 50 LP releases, the label that’s released that likes of Joe McPhee, Call Back The Giants and Moniek Darge says it is time to “pull down the blinds”

New York's Kye record label will cease trading this December. Announcing the news via Facebook, founder Graham Lambkin stated: “Now is the time to say goodbye. After 50 LPs and 60 overall releases it feels like the right time to pull down the blinds... I would like to thank all the artists, distributors, friends and supporters who helped keep Kye alive, varied and interesting.”

Its first release was 2001’s Tomb Of Speed, a small run chapbook of Lambkin’s poems and lyrics with a CD-R, later republished as part of the collection Dumb Answer To Miracles by Penultimate Press. Since then label has worked with Jason Lescalleet, Helm, Vanessa Rossetto, Dan Melchior, The Wire’s Matt Krefting, fellow Shadow Ring member Tim Goss's group Call Back The Giants, fellow Poughkeepsie resident Joe McPhee, and many more. The label has explored its own distinctive area between field recording, art and lo-fi experimentation, including notable archival projects by European artists such as Moniek Darge, Henning Christiansen and Anton Heyboer.

“I always found the idea of a conscious conclusion far more appealing than a ‘whatever happened to...?’ scenario”, explains Lambkin on email. “It's also becoming increasingly ridiculous/frustrating to have vinyl produced in the US... as someone who has had to sit on numerous occasions and physically place every LP of a 500 run on the turntable to check for warps the enthusiasm does tend to ebb.”

The final two releases are already out: Absence, a part live, part archive release of "visionary cassette-based constructs" by Maths Balance Volumes, and Gabi Losoncy’s HH, which Lambkin describes as “two sides of psychologically dense nothingness,” concluding: “The coffin lid comes down on the rainbow.”

Kye will be taking orders until 1 December, and there are plans for a new London based label on the horizon. Listen to Dumb Answers To Miracles below:

Gaika launches The Spectacular Empire record label

The label’s first release is a remix of an Algiers track

Gaika’s The Spectacular Empire is now functioning as a record label. Its first release is a remix of the Algiers track “Cleveland” from their recent album The Underside Of Power.

Talking about the label, Gaika says, “The Spectacular Empire functions as infrastructure for forward-thinking black art and music, recorded or live. It’s an attempt to express my aesthetic and that of the people I rate in as many degrees as possible. Thematically, though the work is generally still about normal everyday hood things – just filtered. It’s still gotta bang…”.

Gaika recently released The Spectacular Empire Vol I (with Vol II to follow on 1 December) via Warp, and is currently touring various venues across the globe under the same name alongside such acts as 808INK, Flohio, IAMDDB, The Gaza Strip, Kojey Radical, L-Vis 1990, Mr Mitch, Marfox and others.

Listen to his remix of “Cleveland” below:

Sharon Gal and Edwin Pouncey's Meltaot perform at Cafe Oto in January

Dylan Carlson is also on the bill performing a version of English folk song “Reynardine”

Black metal inspired duo Meltaot will perform alongside Dylan Carlson this January at Cafe Oto. The event, called Elektrick Lycanthrope, will feature live music, readings and discussion that explore the lycanthropy legend and its cultural influence. The night will open with a special ritual performed by The Wire illustrator and writer, often referred to as Savage Pencil, and Gal. That will be followed by a performance of the folk song “Reynardine” from the Earth guitarist with dancer Holly Carlson.

Elektrick Lycanthrope will take place on 9 January at London's Cafe Oto. Tickets £10.

We Will Fail teams up with MonotypeRec to launch new label

Refined Productions described as a “slow label” intended to encourage listeners to stop and think

Graphic designer and musician Aleksandra Grünholz aka We Will Fail is working with Monotype founder Jakub Mikołajczyk on a new record label. Called Refined Productions, they say their USP is to reset the pace of electronic music production, releasing fewer records that have a longer shelf life. “Stop, watch, listen, feel and think,” the press release states, “then listen again.”

The first two releases will come from Grünholz, following on from two releases on Mikołajczyk's MonotypeRecs with Verstorung (2014) and Hand That Heals/Hand That Bites (2016) – the Schadenfreude EP will be released on 19 January followed by Urgent in March. Urgent features remixes by MESH, Peder Mannerfelt and Kangding Ray.

Schadenfreude is released as a 12” and digitally. You can hear a snippet of the track “Night” in the label trailer below:

Betty Davis documentary premieres in Amsterdam

Betty – They Say I Am Different profiles the groundbreaking funk musician described by Miles Davis as “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince”

Film maker Phil Cox has written and directed a documentary about the reclusive funk songwriter and vocalist Betty Davis. Called Betty – They Say I Am Different, the film draws on archival footage, animation, interviews and song lyrics to tell the story of Davis’s life, from her childhood through her friendships with Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, to her writing for The Chambers Brothers and The Commodores, and onto her brief marriage to Miles Davis and her influence on his album Bitches Brew. It also touches on her 35 year disappearance.

“It was an incredible experience to collaborate with Betty across four years,” states director Cox. “Her cultural and musical importance as a free thinking female pioneer, who paved the way for so many artists to follow, must now be recognised. Her fearless stand as an independent artist, years before anyone else was ‘doing it’ led to great hardship, but her blistering funk albums still stand strong alongside those of her contemporaries Sly Stone, Funkadelic and others. Betty is still unique – it was an honour to make this very personal film with her.”

Betty – They Say I’m Different premieres at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2017 on 18 November, followed by screenings at various cinemas around the city until 25 November.

Last year, Light In The Attic released Betty Davis: The Unheard Columbia Years 1968–1969, compiled from remastered original analogue recordings of previously unheard Miles and Betty Davis sessions.

You can watch the trailer below:

Lost tapes of legendary Manhattan night club Paradise Garage to form a new installation

The Final Night In Paradise features footage taken from the club's closing party, where Larry Levan, Keith Haring and ESG were all present

Boiler Room TV and DJ Harvey have collaborated on a new installation that pays tribute to Larry Levan and New York's famed night club Paradise Garage. The club, founded by Michael Brody in 1977 and known for its garage house music and for being credited as one of the first places to put the DJ at centre stage, was the subject of a limited run 2003 documentary called Maestro, which Boiler Room premiered online last month.

The Final Night In Paradise was directed by Amar Ediriwira and features rare footage taken inside the club at the venue's closing party, projected as a CCTV split screen monitor display. In the shots you can see footage of Keith Haring dancing, Levan DJing and singers Gwen Guthrie and Liz Torres giving a special guest performance. As the footage is without original audio, the imagery has been soundtracked with music selected by DJ Harvey.

“The period of early club culture, and everything that flowed out of America in that golden era, remains a total inspiration for us. David Mancuso, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Francois K, Tee Scott and so many others blazed a trail to a whole new world. In many respects Boiler Room lives in the shadow of these mercurial DJs, so we wanted to go the extra mile to commemorate it” say Ediriwira and producer Gabriel Szatan.

The installation will be screened 24–26 November at The Gallery at Village Underground. On 26 November there will be a party at Village Underground club with a screening of Maestro plus special DJ sets from Nick The Record, Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy and Jamie 3:26.

You can watch a teaser below.

Crowdfunding campaign launched to complete Pauline Oliveros documentary

Daniel Weintraub started working with the US composer on his feature length film three years before she died

Film maker Daniel Weintraub has launched a final drive to finish his documentary Deep Listening: The Story Of Pauline Oliveros. He started work on the film in 2014, joining the composer and Deep Listening theorist as she worked and travelled around the US before her death in November 2016. Since then he has conducted over 30 interviews with people who knew the artist, including Morton Subotnick, Tony Martin, Ramon Sender, Anna Halprin, Claire Chase, Mark Dresser, Linda Montano, Miya Masaoka and Ione. Since Oliveros’s death, notes Weintraub, Ione – her spouse of 30 years – has offered him support and guidance on the project. Money raised from his new crowdfunding campaign will go towards the cost of post-production.

Pauline Oliveros. Screen shot from Deep Listening: The Story Of Pauline Oliveros

“Thanks to the generosity of my Indiegogo contributors and a grant from The Robert Bielecki Foundation, production on Deep Listening: The Story Of Pauline Oliveros is complete,” states Weintraub on his campaign page. “The production process was successful beyond all expectations. I have also scoured archives at Mills College, UCSD and NYU. I have had access to Pauline and Ione’s personal archive as well as many generous archival contributions from others who worked and/or played with Pauline over the years.

“The end result of these past three years of work is that I have an astounding amount of material I now need to somehow distill into a two hour film,” he continues. “In my 20 years as an editor, this is the greatest challenge I have faced (just as I'm sure Pauline would want it!).

“The $35,000 being requested here is actually only a portion of what is needed to complete the film. If this fund drive can bring in more, it will only result in a better final product. Any remaining funding will be secured through traditional grants.”

Donations can be made via Indiegogo. You can watch a trailer below: